Upko U-turn on migrants pass issue a disgrace, says PBS youth leader

Illegal immigrants being readied for deportation from Sabah last year. (National Security Council pic)

KOTA KINABALU: A Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) youth leader has criticised Upko for its sudden change of heart on the controversial Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS), calling it a “blatant disgrace”.

Tamparuli PBS youth chief Boe Sendolun said he found it “laughable” that Upko president Wilfred Madius Tangau had suddenly switched his stance to reject the PSS after Warisan’s loss in the Kimanis by-election.

PBS Tamparuli youth chief Boe Sendolun.

He said such flip flopping and “abrupt shifting of the goal post” made for bad leadership.

“If Warisan had won in Kimanis, Upko would still be towing the line and be reticent on the issue of PSS.

“So, why has Upko only now decided to voice their stand against PSS? Did they just realise that one of the main reasons Warisan lost was because of the PSS proposal?” Boe said in a statement here today.

Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal had earlier today said the state Cabinet had agreed not to proceed with the PSS plan following the outcome of the Kimanis by-election.

Last night, Tangau, who is also the Sabah deputy chief minister, said he would propose to the Warisan government to stop the introduction of the PSS.

He said that although the government’s intention was noble, the sentiments of the majority of the people were against the proposal.

Tangau said the government must find a solution to deport refugees to their country of origin, adding that the authorities must review the policy of not arresting holders of the kad burung-burung and census certificate.

The PSS was intended to replace the kad burung-burung, census certificate and the IMM13 refugee card.

Boe said the people were beginning to see the weaknesses of Warisan’s policies and style of governing.

He said Warisan’s defeat in Kimanis was a protest against the state government’s conduct and handling of the illegal immigrant issue, “seemingly to put their interest above locals”.

“The state administration also encourages an ethnocentric civil service, with key posts in state and federal departments held by people from Semporna.

“Do you think the people of Sabah can accept this type of administrative conduct whereby good, capable people have been cold-storaged simply because they are not ‘part of the team’?

“Warisan is also a grandstanding government which loves to make announcements on billion-ringgit investments and projects that have yet to materialise. They are like a hot air balloon – big and colourful, but carrying just a small basket,” he said.

Boe said Warisan leaders were the ones calling the shots while their partners – Upko, DAP and PKR – “just fall in line”.

“Only now does Tangau dare to talk of arresting those with kad burung-burung and census certificates, and reviving talk of recalling Malaysian identity cards issued in Sabah to solve the dubious IC problems in the state,” he said.

“He (Tangau) had also contradicted himself when he said Upko had always been consistent in wanting to get rid of the illegal immigration issue in Sabah.

“Where was Upko’s voice when Warisan was hell bent on implementing the PSS?” he said.